Scapegoats And Scapegoating - Book Report/Review Example

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Scapegoats And Scapegoating

LeGuin’s story “The Ones who walk away from Omelas” presents a picture of a utopian city, governed by an underlying understanding that despite the moral repulsion of heaping torture upon one individual, it is a necessity for the mental well being of the many, in order that the utopian condition of the city might be preserved. The story “encapsulates the full beauty and horror of a society in which the good of the many occurs at the expense of the suffering of a small minority. "The abused child in the basement" from that story became a kind of shorthand for the disadvantaged in our discussions of social equity as it applies to all citizens.” (Adams, and Pugh 65) In a similar manner, Jackson's "The Lottery" is based on the theme of one individual becoming a scapegoat to support a group mechanism for the sacrifice of one to preserve the happiness of many. Crane's "The Blue Hotel" shows a self-selecting scapegoat who by rubbing in his difference creates a collusive communal reaction leading to his death.LeGuin’s story suggests an idyllic existence in a culture of a prosperous and sophisticated people, much given to carnivals, parades, and festivals of all kinds where their leaders are wise and free of corruption. A picture of a crime-free society where there is no wants or distress of any kind. The shocking contrast comes when the existence of a single child locked in filthy, miserable conditions within a broom closet is revealed to the reader. ...Show more

Summary

Narration and depiction of a scapegoat are found throughout the literature. The paper "Scapegoats And Scapegoating" examines three stories: Ursula Le Guin's "The Ones who walk away from Omelas", "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and "The Blue Hotel” by Stephen Crane that contain this image…
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